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HS2 Ltd celebrates a successful 2021 and looks ahead to 2022

Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2 Ltd, said: “It has been a year of major moments for HS2 – from the start of tunnelling, to hitting 20,000 jobs, to awarding the contract to build our trains – 2021 really showed the incredible momentum on Britain’s biggest infrastructure project. HS2 is moving forward, creating jobs, enhancing skills, benefiting UK businesses and building a low carbon, high capacity railway that will change the way we travel in Britain.”

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Anglo American upgrades Scope of Woodsmith Polyhalite Fertiliser Project to optimise long Term Value

Anglo American has conducted a detailed technical review of the Woodsmith polyhalite project in the UK since mid-2020 to ensure the technical and commercial integrity of the full scope of its design. Now largely complete, the review has confirmed the findings of Anglo American’s due diligence that a number of elements of the project’s design would benefit from modification to bring it up to Anglo American’s safety and operating integrity standards and to optimise the value of the asset for the long term.

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Staffs’ Wardell Armstrong welcome HS2 CEO to see progress on route between West Midlands and Crewe

Multidisciplinary environmental, engineering and mining consultancy, Wardell Armstrong, has welcomed Mark Thurston - HS2 Ltd's CEO - to a worksite where a team of environmental specialists are working on the early works phase of HS2 construction.

Early works on the new 36-mile stretch of high speed railway began soon after it was approved by MPs in February 2021. At peak construction, delivering this major section of railway infrastructure will support six and a half thousand jobs. Stretching from Fradley in Staffordshire to just south of Crewe in Cheshire, this newest phase of HS2 includes two tunnels, 17 viaducts, and 65 bridges.

Wardell Armstrong, which has been Net Zero since 2020, secured the contract with HS2’s first environmental works contractor, Balfour Beatty, in September 2020, building on the pipeline of work the company has delivered on the first two phases of HS2 since 2018.

Visiting a site Wardell Armstrong are working at, HS2’s CEO Mark Thurston said: “Work has now begun to prepare the ground between the West Midlands and Crewe to allow the construction of  the next phase of HS2. It is fantastic that Wardell Armstrong, a local business and one of some eighty in Staffordshire, is on board with HS2 to provide its expertise as we begin the early stages of work on the project. As momentum builds on our programme for the section between the West Midlands and Crewe, there will be thousands of contract opportunities for local businesses to become part of this exciting national endeavour and get involved in this once-in-a-generation mega project.”

The firm’s repeated success in winning work on the HS2 project has enabled Wardell Armstrong to expand its workforce. Including the head office in Stoke-on-Trent, the business now has 13 offices across the UK, and has been able to expand its workforce to surpass 500. They have over 100  people working on HS2, with staff in its ecology, archaeology, heritage, hydrogeology, health and safety, engineering teams all supporting the delivery of Britain’s new high speed railway. The firm is currently recruiting for further specialist roles in the UK.

Wardell Armstrong’s Managing Director, Keith Mitchell, said: “Being involved in HS2 has given us an excellent opportunity to expand and develop our team in Stoke-on-Trent and nationally. We provide specialist environmental and engineering support along the length of the route, working with the HS2 team and their contractors to mitigate environmental impact and enhance biodiversity. The project has helped us to significantly innovate and grow our business and create employment in the Staffordshire region and the wider UK.”

As the construction of HS2 gathers further pace, there are thousands of contract opportunities available, with many more associated jobs. To date over 20,000 people are supporting the construction of HS2, and nearly 2,400 UK businesses delivering the work.

Sara Williams, CEO of the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce said: “HS2 is an amazing opportunity for businesses in Staffordshire – and beyond – to work together to deliver something that will last generations, transform economies and help with the levelling up agenda. We have found HS2 an excellent partner, keen to make a positive difference through their investment and provide a legacy for the future.”

Source: HS2

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SSAB to attend COP26 in Glasgow

SSAB will attend meetings in conjunction with UN climate talks at COP26 in Glasgow to highlight the importance of an effective framework for industrial transition to support the possibility to reach the UN’s climate change goals.

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Historic Moment as HS2 launches first giant Tunnelling Machine

  • HS2 launches ‘Florence’ – the first of 10 HS2 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) that will dig 64 miles of tunnel on Phase One of the UK’s new high speed railway
  • This first 170m-long TBM – the largest ever used on a UK rail project – will dig 10 miles of tunnel under the Chilterns, operating 24/7 for the next three years
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps: “The tunnels these machines dig will ensure the benefits of our new high-capacity, high-speed railway run to the great cities of the North and Midlands, forging stronger connections in our country, boosting connectivity and skills opportunities, and transforming our transport links.”
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